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Emergency Management

Risking a summer of smoke

The "rainy day" fund is the name given to unspent money that state lawmakers set aside each session, held in reserve for emergencies, unforeseen needs and economic downturns.But considering where sizeable chunks of those reserves have gone the last two years,...

Date: 05/17/2016 | Editorials

New director named for Snohomish County emergency department

EVERETT — Jason Biermann has been promoted as director of Snohomish County's Department of Emergency Management, removing the interim title next to his name.The job puts Biermann in charge of preparing...

Date: 05/07/2016 | Local News

Wildfire in Alberta now 328 square miles in size

FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta — A massive wildfire raging in the Canadian province of Alberta grew to 85,000 hectares and officials said Thursday they would like to move south about 25,000 evacuees who had previously fled north, including 8,000 by air.

Date: 05/04/2016 | Nation & World

Getting a fair deal for National Guard members

During disasters, the assistance provided by members for the Army National Guard and Air National Guard have proved invaluable to the victims of disaster but also in support of the work of first responders at the scene, such as during the wildfires in Eastern and Central Washington the...

Date: 05/03/2016 | Editorials

Two paths after the Oso landslide

Two years have now passed since a landslide cut through the Stillaguamish Valley's Steelhead Haven neighborhood near Oso, buried the highway connecting Darrington and Arlington, destroyed scores of homes and killed 43 people.Since March 22, 2014, two paths of response have...

Date: 03/27/2016 | Editorials

Two years after Oso slide, we are survivors, stronger and united

The Stillaguamish Valley is home to families, friends and neighbors who have known adversity and come together when crisis strikes. Yet prior to March 22, 2014, few of us could have imagined the tragedy that would befall our community.The Oso landslide propelled us into a...

Date: 03/27/2016 | Commentary

Lynnwood taking steps to prepare for a disaster

LYNNWOOD — The city of Lynnwood has launched a year-long campaign to become more prepared for disasters.About 300 people attended a March 15 public meeting focused on earthquakes and other disasters and south Snohomish County. The meeting was held at Edmonds Community...

Date: 03/23/2016 | Local News

Body found at Arlington home of fired radio-system chief

ARLINGTON — A man's body was found Saturday at the home of the former director of the Snohomish County Emergency Radio System.The body is believed to be that of Mark S. McDermott, 64. The former radio system director has been the focus of an expanding Lynnwood police...

Date: 03/12/2016 | Local News

3 die, scores hurt after huge freeway pileup

FREDERICKSBURG, Pa. — A pileup involving dozens of vehicles on a Pennsylvania interstate that killed three people and sent scores to hospitals appears to have been related to a passing snow squall, authorities said Saturday.

Date: 02/13/2016 | Nation & World

Getting ready for the big one

By now our concerns about earthquakes, specifically "The Really Big One" discussed in the New Yorker article of the same name from July — the one that quoted a FEMA official as saying...

Date: 02/11/2016 | Editorials

Counting the costs of wildfire

After last year's drought and record wildfire season, there's some comfort in looking up into the Cascades and Olympics and seeing snow-covered slopes.Where last year's snowpack was far below average, ranging from 18 percent to 56 percent depending on location, this year the...

Date: 02/10/2016 | Editorials

Levy full fine for CenturyLink's 911 failure

Among the 6,600 missed calls to 911 that occurred in Washington and five other states during a six-hour period in April 2014, were those of an Everett woman who repeatedly called for help as an intruder menaced her...

Date: 01/15/2016 | Editorials

Historic flooding hits the Midwest

ST. LOUIS — Surging Midwestern rivers forced hundreds of evacuations, threatened dozens of levees and brought transportation by car, boat or train to a virtual standstill Thursday in the St. Louis area.

Date: 12/31/2015 | Nation & World

‘Bad stuff’ over for retiring Everett emergency chief

EVERETT — His favorite part of the job was bringing people together.Or, as one friend put it, being "personality and presence in the middle of bad stuff happening."After 25 years, Dave DeHaan is retiring from the city of Everett. He started as a...

Date: 12/30/2015 | Local News

What to do for Stilly Valley and who can do it

Clearly, thankfully, the Stillaguamish Valley and its communities from Darrington to Arlington have not been forgotten in the months following the March 22, 2014, Oso landslide that killed 43 people, destroyed 36 homes, obliterated Highway 530 and caused economic hardships throughout...

Date: 12/06/2015 | Editorials

Wildfire reforms still needed

This is how persistent wildfires can be: It was only last week — mid-November — that a wildfire in the Olympic National Park's rainforest, which had been burning since May, was finally extinguished by a series of storms that dropped several feed of rain.The...

Date: 11/24/2015 | Editorials

BNSF takes accident prevention, preparation seriously

Freight rail is the backbone of the Northwest economy, and for well over a century, Burlington Northern Santa Fe has proudly and safely brought goods to and from Washington. We move the things we use every day — from the food we eat to the clothes we wear to the construction...

Date: 11/22/2015 | Commentary

Timber company loses bid to avoid Oso mudslide litigation

OSO — A timber company that argues its logging over the years had nothing to do with the deadly Oso mudslide will have to make its case before a jury, a judge has ruled.Grandy Lake Forest...

Date: 11/02/2015 | Local News

Study: Merge county’s SNOPAC and SNOCOM dispatch centers

EVERETT — A new proposal suggests that Snohomish County’s two main dispatch centers merge into one entity.County Council members were briefed on the proposal in late August. The county paid for the study and employs the manager of the local 911 oversight board.

Date: 09/01/2015 | Local News

Are we spending wisely when it comes to wildfires?

As wildfires plague much of the American West, one must ask: Who is paying to put them out? The answer is largely the American taxpayer. By that, we mean the taxpayers of Maryland, Tennessee and New Jersey — as well as those in California, Oregon, Washington and Montana, the...

Date: 08/27/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Did Smokey have it wrong?

Viewpoints: We need to change how we fight wildfires

Date: 08/23/2015 | Commentary

Confronting the new realities of wildfires

A hastily scrawled sign on a fence outside a Twisp home implores: "Firefighters, this is just a house — please stay safe."It's a message made more heartbreaking by Wednesday...

Date: 08/21/2015 | Editorials

Experts say best plan for oil train fire is evacuation and containment

EVERETT — Each oil tanker car that passes through Snohomish County carries about 33,000 gallons. Multiply that by 100 to 110 cars per train.Often, it's Bakken crude oil, which is easier to refine but far more volatile. The Pacific Northwest now is averaging 2.5 loaded...

Date: 08/15/2015 | Local News

Skagit County 911 system struggles with understaffing

MOUNT VERNON — Skagit County’s 911 system is struggling with understaffing and forced overtime that can increase employee stress and burnout.

Date: 08/04/2015 | Northwest

Seattle debuts new emergency-alert system

SEATTLE — The city of Seattle is rolling out a new emergency-alert system.

Date: 08/04/2015 | Northwest

Three weeks out, only four 911 texts have been valid

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The ability to text 911 has been live in Snohomish County for three weeks now.The good news is people are making use of the service.The bad news is that so far, 81 percent of the texts received haven't been for emergencies.

Date: 07/29/2015 | Local News

The big one: Don’t fret; plan

Most of us in the Northwest know we live with the threat of earthquakes, but many of us limit our preparations for disaster by reminding ourselves to buy a case of water the next time we're at Costco.For those who happened upon a New Yorker article that went viral on...

Date: 07/22/2015 | Editorials

BNSF must own up to risks of oil, coal trains

Drug company ads on TV — ads European countries don't allow on television — are required to warn of possible dangerous side effects that could kill us. We'd be somewhat safer and more aware of urgent policy choices we face if rail, oil and gas companies were...

Date: 07/19/2015 | Commentary

Eastmont’s brush fire shows need to support fire services

On July 8, I awoke from an afternoon nap at my home in the Eastmont neighborhood to the smell of heavy smoke wafting through an open window. Soon the sound of sirens could be heard growing louder. Within minutes we became aware that a brush fire had broken out along the pipeline trail...

Date: 07/18/2015 | Commentary

Snohomish County 911 text service starts Wednesday, with limitations

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Starting Wednesday, you can text to 911 in Snohomish County.

Date: 07/08/2015 | Local News

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